Upper West to confront poor SHS performance
THE UPPER West Region is to convene stakeholders’ meetings to find out the circumstances that led to the poor performance of students in Senior High Schools (SHS) who sat for the West Africa Senior High School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).
The regional minister, Dr Hafiz Bin Salih, who has expressed worry about the poor performance of the SHS students, described the development as demoralising.
“It is disheartening to know that the performances of our students at the Senior High School level have taken a nosedive.”
According to Bin Salih, after they were sworn into office by President Akufo-Addo, all sixteen regional ministers met the minister for education, Dr Yaw Adutwum, who indicated to them that the wide gap between the south and the north in performance of students during the WASSCE is widening.
He quoted the education minister as saying that the performance of students in the south is improving, but same cannot be said about students in the five northern regions.
“We will put in measures to reverse what is currently happening. As such, we have directed the regional director of education to immediately convene a stakeholders’ meeting for us to discuss this challenge. It is unacceptable because I see education as the game-changer. It is education that can break the shackles of poverty,” he said.
Dr Hafiz Bin Salih was speaking at his maiden meeting with the media after he was sworn into office as the minister. At the meeting, he called for support and cooperation from the media for the development of the Upper West Region.
In furtherance to this, Bin Salih appealed to members of the inky fraternity to continue to portray the good image of the region to the outside world.
“As media people, let us always paint a good picture of our region. It is in doing this that will attract investment and investors into the region”, he told the journalists.
According to Bin Silah, the region has been relatively peaceful and that the crime rate has also reduced as people can now go about their daily routine.
Underscoring tourist potentials in the Upper West region, which is not being fully utilised for economic gains, the minister explained that when he took his turn at the Parliament Vetting Committee, he indicated that the Upper West region had several tourists’ sites, which have not been fully utilised for economic benefits of the Upper West region.
Among these tourist sites, according to Dr Hafiz Bin Salih, are the Iconic Wa Naa Palace and Slave Defence Wall.
According to him, he would need the support of the media to tell the world that “we have these tourists sites located here in the region.”
Beyond this, he also touched on the festivals that are celebrated in the Upper West region, such as Damba celebrated by the people of Wa, Kobine celebrated by the people of Lawra, Kakube by the people of Nandom andPaarigbielle by the Tumu people.
These festivals, he noted, are means to attract tourists to the Upper West region.
The minister also touched on other pressing issues in the region such as health, noting that he intends to see to it that districts without hospitals get one.
He added that they will improve healthcare delivery by recruiting qualified health personnel in the region.
On road construction, Bin Salih told the media that some contracts were awarded during the first administration of Nana Akufo-Addo and they are going to see to the completion of such contracts.
Dr Hafiz noted that “the Wa-Tumu-Bolga road shall receive the utmost attention from me; we need to get that road done as quickly as possible.
“I am aware that portions of it are on contract, but I want to get the entire stretch to be on contract so that in near future, we will have a tarred road here from Wa through Tumu to Bolga.”
Another issue of concern that he touched on was accommodation.
According to him, as Regional Coordinating Council(RCC), during the first term, they released some Bungalows to the Ghana Health Service and the Regional Hospital, but he strongly believes that they are not enough.
He bemoaned that a housing project that was started in 2007 has stalled, and the Regional Economic Planning Officer has been tasked to update authorities on the status of the project so that they revise it, adding that once we do that, they will get contractors to work on the project.
From Musah Umar Farouq, Wa